If a country says it has placed visa sanctions on us, what else can we do?-John Boadu


General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu, has said the decision by the United States Embassy to place visa sanctions on Ghana should not be a problem we should be so worried about.

 

According to him, a sovereign state has taken a decision to sanction another sovereign state and directed us to take steps to put in place measures to make our country better for citizens traveling abroad to seek greener pastures.

 

He said, there is nothing much to be done than to negotiate with the US Embassy on the wayward.

 

‘’The situation is a bit worrying but if a state says it has sanctioned you, what more can you do? We will negotiate with them but what we have to do is to take steps in making Ghana better so our citizens who travel abroad to seek greener pastures will stay home.’’

 

In his view, if the NDC had done better than what we see today, Ghana would have been better and only persons seeking to study abroad will travel.

 

‘’If the NDC had done better and transformed the country through policies like the Free Senior High School policy, the Planting for and Jobs and industrialized the country, we would have decreased the unemployment rate.’’

 

The US Embassy has suspended the issuance of all new visas for domestic employees of Ghanaian Diplomats hosted in the US.

The sanctions would also include the reduction of the five-year validity period and a number of entries on Tourist and Business visas for all Ghanaian Executive and Legislative branch employees, their spouses and children under age 21, to single entry visas valid for only one month.

The US has taken his action against Ghana because it says Ghana has failed to accept about 7,000 Ghanaians earmarked for deportation from the US.

At a press conference last week, the Embassy said: “Without an appropriate response from Ghana, the scope of these sanctions may be expanded to a wider population. The sanctions will remain in place until the Secretary of Homeland Security notifies Secretary Pompeo that cooperation on removals has improved to an acceptable level.”

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchway says the sanctions on good is unjustifiable.

A statement issued by the Ministry’s Public Affairs Directorate  said the Government had always cooperated with the US authorities in the processing and removal of Ghanaian citizens who had been cited for deportation from the US to Ghana.

It said the Government of Ghana was worried about past experiences where Ghanaian deportees were sent home in belly chains and physically cuffed to their seats on the aircrafts.

It, therefore, urged the US Government to recognise and ensure the deportation processes are consistent with international best practices and national laws, and must uphold the dignity of the people involved at all times including those convicted of crimes.

The statement said the Ministry was assessing the situation and would institute appropriate measures within the context of international laws and the bilateral relations between the two countries in due course.

It said in accordance with international laws the Ghana Embassy in Washington DC undertook identification and verification processes to ensure that all persons earmarked for deportation to Ghana are bonafide citizens of Ghana.

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